This photo taken on March 9, 2021 shows the runner-up in the January 14 presidential elections, Mr Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine addressing journalists at NUP offices as he tabled affidavits that were allegedly ejected by the Supreme Court. PHOTOS/ ABUBAKER LUBOWA
By Job Bwire
The runner-up in the January 14 presidential elections, Mr Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine Tuesday called for peaceful demonstrations to oppose the poll results just days after he withdrew from the Supreme Court his election petition challenging President Museveni’s victory.
“Museveni has betrayed the blood of our people and done worse than the regimes he castigated for rigging elections,” Bobi Wine said while addressing journalists at the National Unity Platform (NUP) offices in Kampala.
“I call upon you to rise up peacefully and unarmed to demonstrate against the regime that has oppressed us, exploited us and turned us into slaves in our own country. We invite you to march to your respective district offices and seek answers,” he added.
Moments before, a police chopper was seen hovering over the NUP offices.
The NUP leader who doubles as the Kyadondo East MP tabled before journalists declaration forms from the January 2021 election results and affidavits that were allegedly rejected by the Supreme Court forcing him to withdraw his petition.
Mr Kyagulanyi told journalists that he had won the hotly-contested election with 54.19 percent of the valid votes cast.
“From our tally (even with all the ballot stuffing) we beat Gen Museveni with 54.19 percent but he went on to declare himself,” Mr Kyagulanyi said before calling for an independent audit into the elections.
“If he says he won this election, there must be an independent audit. Election audits have been used in other countries like Sierra Leone, Haiti and Afghanistan.”
Earlier, police warned Bobi Wine and his supporters to abandon the planned nationwide “violent demonstrations and riots.”
“The organisers of these illegal demonstrations are mobilising the public using social media and leaflets with wording that reads “Time is Now. Join nationwide protests to fight for our victory. We have deployed strategically to counter these illegal acts and we are continuing with vigilance,” Kampala Metropolitan deputy spokesperson, Mr Luke Owoyesigyire said in a Monday statement.
“We want to warn the organisers of these unlawful demonstrations to desist from participating in any unlawful activities. The police will not hesitate to arrest and charge in courts of law anyone, who will be found participating in these illegal activities,” Mr Owoyesigyire said.
Police chopper hovers over NUP offices as Bobi Wine tables before journalists DR forms from the January 2021 elections & affidavits that were allegedly rejected by the Supreme Court before he withdrew his petition challenging Museveni’s victory
However, Bobi Wine insists that the demonstrations will be peaceful and legal.
“As we have been saying, our strategy is nonviolent but lawful. We shall not hold guns like Mr Museveni did. Ours will be peaceful but very assertive,” Mr Kyagulanyi said before citing Article 3 of the Constitution which empowers Ugandans to “restore constitutional order once it has been usurped.”
Election petition abandoned
Bobi Wine last week formally abandoned the legal bid to overturn the results of January’s presidential election, accusing the judiciary of favoring veteran ruler Museveni.
The 76-year-old former rebel leader won a sixth term in office on January 14 with 58 percent of the vote. Bobi Wine, a 39-year-old singer-turned-lawmaker, came second with 35 percent and decried the election as a sham.
He filed a petition in the Supreme Court on February 1 challenging the result, alleging voter intimidation, the abduction of his party officials, and widespread rigging including ballot stuffing.
Mockery of justice
However, Bobi Wine instructed his lawyers to withdraw the petition, accusing the judges hearing the case of “bias” and a “lack of independence”.
“We are convinced that the Supreme Court has a predetermined mind,” he told reporters last month.
“We refuse to be part of that mockery of justice. The people of Uganda will have the final say on their destiny. Having withdrawn our case from the unjust Supreme Court of Uganda we are putting all legal, non-violent options on the table,” he added, without elaboration.
Bobi Wine accused the top judge hearing the case, Chief Justice Alphonse Owiny-Dollo, of meeting Mr Museveni on three occasions since the petition was filed, and questioned his independence.
Losing candidates have sought unsuccessfully in the past to overturn Museveni’s wins in court.
One of Africa’s longest-serving rulers, Mr Museveni has won every election since 1996, almost all marred by allegations of irregularities.
He declared the January ballot the cleanest in Uganda’s post-independence history.
But the road to his latest victory was marred by a particularly violent and sustained crackdown on his rivals that drew international condemnation.
In November, at least 54 people were shot dead by security forces loyal to Museveni during protests against one of Bobi Wine numerous arrests.
The opposition leader was held under effective house arrest from polling day until a court ordered security forces end his detention nearly two weeks later.
Security operatives have also been accused of kidnapping Ugandans, especially opposition supporters ahead of Mr Museveni’s swearing in later in May.
However, Mr Museveni insists those arrested by security, about 300 in number-which figure opposition contests- are criminal elements most of whom were involved in the November riots.
However, Bobi Wine says those suspected of any crime ought to be presented in competent courts of law as required by the Constitution.
“We demand that Gen Museveni immediately puts an end to the abduction and kidnap of our people who are taken away by security. We demand that the security agencies return our people who are being tortured and held incommunicado. Those that they claim have cases to answer should be taken to competent courts of law and those that are sick should be taken to hospital. We also want bodies of those that have been murdered so that we can accord them descent burial,” Mr Kyagulanyi said.
Source Daily Monitor.